Image by Katie Harp – Pinterest Manager
No one likes seeing their friends stressed and it’s human nature to want to help them out in a pinch. When that pinch is financial, however, we may not always be in a position to be able to help them solve their problems directly. This is nothing to feel bad about but it can leave us feeling a bit down and lost, which is presumably how you found your way here. We can’t offer get-rich-quick schemes (they hardly ever work anyway) but here are four tips and sound advice that you can pass along to make things a little bit easier:
Finding the right place to borrow from.
Your friend may be seeking a loan, that’s all well and good if they’re comfortable doing so but since they’re vulnerable at the moment, it will be easy for those with nefarious intentions to take advantage of them. Help them find payday loan alternatives so they can repay the money under a contract that should have far more favorable terms and a lower interest rate. This will help relieve some of their stress and get them back on the right path sooner.
Share your budgeting tips.
Obviously this bit of advice won’t necessarily make a massive impact on their debt immediately, but by helping them set up a proper budget, you’ll be laying the foundation for a better financial future for them. It can help to draw on your own experiences here, but make sure you do so in a general manner rather than applying a specific monetary value to things as their incomes and expenses could be vastly different to your own. As a side note, if you don’t currently have a budget, now is a great time to set one up. You can do this with your friend over coffee which will benefit you both as you may pick up on areas that the other has missed. A good starting point is to work out what percentage of your income your fixed expenses account for and then go from there.
Help them seek professional help.
Yes, you’re not a financial expert (unless, of course, you are) but you can help your friend find the most appropriate professional for their situation. This may mean setting them up with a debt specialist or financial planner/advisor or even just letting them know that it’s fine to need someone who has expertise in dealing with money to help.
A little extra assistance is OK.
Lastly, just letting your friend know that it’s fine to look into food stamps or other options available can take a weight off their shoulders. We’re all taught that we need to remain strong and self-sufficient at all times but it’s important to remind them that if you need help, you should never feel bad asking.
Tips aside, the most valuable thing you can offer your friend is your love and compassion. They’ll be having a hard enough time without stressing about whether they’re going to lose their friends as well. These tips can certainly point them in the right direction, but if they’re not offered with a hug (and a shoulder to cry on if need be) they won’t be well received. Don’t be offended if they don’t take your advice immediately, they may need time to process and that’s ok. Simply let them know about your research, make sure they know you went to the trouble because you love them, and stand by them, everything else will work itself out in the end.